Welcome to my 2nd Sunday of Easter 2020 Message!
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So, the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ (John 20:24-25)
Early one morning my friend, who was a Greek Orthodox priest, called to ask if I would visit a family whose son was having open heart surgery that day. He would have gone himself, but he was out of town for a funeral. I went to the hospital, prayed for the boy, and stayed with the family until their son had successfully come through the procedure.
Seven years later I was at the pool of the hotel where I had a gym membership. There was family there that I recognized, but couldn’t place them. When one of the boys got out of the water, I saw a large scar on his chest. That boy’s scar helped me to identify that family.
On the first Easter night, Jesus came back to the disciples and showed them His wounds. Thomas, though, wasn’t with them for that visit, and when he returned the disciples told him that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Instead of rejoicing with them, he said, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands…, I will not believe.” A week later, Jesus stood among them and said, “Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands.’” At that moment, Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” Thomas recognized Jesus by His wounds.
Those I often felt most connected to during my many years of ministry have been those who shared their wounds with me. These people trusted me enough to not judge them, and I believe they were hoping and praying that I might be able to apply the grace of Jesus to how they were hurting or struggling or grieving.
We are living in a wounded world right now. Lives have been lost, and more will be. Businesses are tanking, and some may never recover. Jobs are gone, and the bills are piling up. Even though so many things are being lost, our faith will not be lost if we hold onto the hope that Jesus knows our wounds, sees our wounds, and touches our wounds.
Jesus wants us to apply the grace of His wounds to where we are hurting, grieving, and struggling. His wounds are the balm our wounds need to heal. Jesus also wants us to apply the grace of His resurrection to all the challenges we’re facing during this epidemic. His risen life is the balm of hope we need to carry on with courage and resilience.
Thomas came to know Jesus through seeing the wounds of His Lord and God. We can come to know Jesus more deeply as our Lord and God when we hold onto the hope that there are no wounds, no losses, no struggles that He doesn’t know and will not share with us.
- What do you need Jesus to see, know, and touch in your life right now?
- How can Jesus’ wounds serve as balm to your own struggles?
- How do you need the Risen Jesus to be lifting you up during this crisis?